American Parlor Songbook

  • Hosted by JP Houston, Julie Van Dusen

Come into the Parlor for clever songs, charming stories, and hilarious sketches each week. Hosted from the piano by acclaimed composer JP Houston, with his wife, comic actress Julie Van Dusen. JP and Julie are joined by special guests from national music acts to raconteurs and stand-ups. American Parlor Songbook has been recorded in front of live audiences at the Tudor House Theater in Lake Arrowhead CA, and at venues across the country.

JP Houston is a Canadian born singer, songwriter, pianist, and producer. JP has a large catalog of songs composed for record, theater and television, from Funny or Die Presents to the Big Comfy Couch. He has written for BBC, HBO, CBC, PBS and countless others. Houston has been nominated for a Canadian Emmy for best score.

In addition to his composing work, JP is an accomplished performer who has toured andrecorded all over North America and Europe.

Most recently in Brian Bell’s Weezer side project The Relationship. In 2013, he wrapped a 2 year stint leading the house band at the legendary venue, Pappy and Harriet’s in PioneerTown CA. The popular shows saw JP trading songs with the likes of Victoria Williams, Band Of Horses, The Jay Hawks,M.Ward, John Doe, and a host of other notable guests who sat in each week.

Houston has also worked extensively in comedy clubs and theaters as a performer and musical director including shows at UCB, Steve Allen Theatre, and 24th St Theater,to name a few.

Julie Van Dusen is a stage actress hailing from Michigan. She is an alumni of the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy, and a graduate from Oakland University’s theater program. Since earning her degree, Julie has held key rolls in productions including Diary of Ann Frank (Jet Theatre), Psycho Beach Party (Strand Theatre), Twelfth Night (Attic Theatre), and The Fantastics (Henry Ford Theatre). Van Dusen has also worked in comedy and improv, with stints in Detroit productions of Tony and Tina’s Wedding, and improv group Awkward Silence.

6/19/20 - B-Movies

Jun 19, 2020

Join us for a show about B-Movies. We riff on cult classics, grindhouse shockers, and drive-in features. JP sings the news about robot law, and tells a story about a seedy cinema. Rob Mills returns as cryptozoologist Emil Konk, in a piece written by Kit Passold. Songwriter Shmedly from The Secret Powers brings us a solo piano performance.

6/12/2020 - Words with Fiends

Jun 12, 2020

We'll twist our tongues on an episode about words and communication. John Pate returns with a tale of southern idioms, and Canadian singer Ben Wilkens brings us his thoughtful piano ballads.

6/5/2020 - Consciousness

Jun 5, 2020

Join us for an episode recorded live in Joshua Tree, California. We'll find awareness this week on a show about consciousness.

JP sings the news and tells a story about an influential childhood teacher. Julie joins in for a sketch about an important phonecall from god, and monster hunter Emil Konk returns for another talk. With some studio material from Rob Mills and Kit Pasold, and musical guests, indie folksters The Adobe Collective.

5/29/20 Pushing Pencils

May 29, 2020

Take a number and have a seat, it'll be a while on this episode about bureaucracy. JP tells a true childhood tale about school health regulations, comedian Hailey Jones keeps us in check as Safety Sue, and singer-songwriter Matt Coleman performs his acoustic pop.

5/22/20 - Elbow Grease is the Word

May 22, 2020

Join us for a show about work. JP tells a true childhood tale about earning fake money, comedian and playwright Steven Benaquist delivers a "FRED Talk", and from Switzerland, songwriting duo Sarah Bowman and Rene Coal Burrel perform as Famous October.

5/15/20 - Privacy

May 15, 2020

Join us for an episode recorded at The Tudor House Theatre in Lake Arrowhead, California. We'll mind our business on a show about privacy. JP tells a childhood tale about a secret room under the stairs, Julie joins in for a sketch about a smart home run amuck, Phil Proctor & Jamie Alcroft return with their "Boomers on a Bench", and original Greenwich scene folk singer Art Podell performs.

5/8/20 - The Exact Science of Comedy

May 8, 2020

Join us for an episode about comedy itself, recorded in front of an audience at the KVCR PBS TV studios in San Bernardino California. John Pate returns with another charming story, and folk duo Lawrence and Clare perform their likeable ditties.

5/1/20 - Chaos

May 1, 2020

Join us for a show about chaos. JP tells a story about a childhood prank, Alt-Right talkshow host Aaron White goes nuts, Zach Sherwin brings his comedy rap, and Australian singer-songwriter Clare Reynolds performs her heartfealt pop tunes.

4/24/20 - Justice

Apr 24, 2020

Join us for an episode recorded at The Tudor House Theater in Lake Arrowhead, CA. We'll search for mercy on a show about justice. JP tells a true childhood tale about property lines, special guest Art Podell sings the news, Dylan Chambers performs his catchy pop tunes, and Steven Benaquist plays Pastor Scott Gene.

4/17/20 - Moolah

Apr 17, 2020

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs about money, recorded live at the Tudor House Theatre in Lake Arrowhead, CA.

We've uncovered another rare 1950s propaganda cartoon about banking, retired actress Martha Young helps out a Nigerian prince, Jay Montepare tells a funny story about a missed windfall, and singer-songwriter Jaden Larue performs her heartfelt tunes.

4/10/20 The Roma Roll

Apr 10, 2020

Join us for an episode about the nomadic lifestyle. JP tells a story about a travelling street performer, strangers meet on a plane, Steven Benaquist brings us Captain St. Beaves, and Eva Mikhilovna performs her dreamy folk.

4/3/20 Sportsmanlike Misconduct

Apr 3, 2020

Join us for a show about competition, recorded live at The Tudor House Theater in Lake Arrowhead, CA. JP tells a true childhood tale about his grade school Olympics, a bake-off goes off the rails, comedian Matt Knudsen delivers the first ever APS News, and British singer-songwriter Jason Feddy returns to sing the police blotter.

3/27/20 Corporate Meltdown

Mar 27, 2020

Join us for an episode about corporations and the way business is done. We unearth another lost 1950s propaganda reel, JP tells a true childhood tale, comedian Steven benaquist is back with another piece, and UK/US roots pairing Robert Garson and Kirsty McGee perform as Ocatillo.

3/20/20 All Things Must Pass

Mar 20, 2020

All things must pass on an episode about the inevitable direction of time. Sachet Vaneers interviews Julian Assange, Steven Benaquist brings us NPR host "Roger Smeegle", rapping comedian Zach Sherwin turns a phrase, and singer-songwriter Andres Valenzuela performs in the studio.

3/13/20 Battle of the Sexes

Mar 13, 2020

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs about men and women. We uncover another outdated propaganda cartoon, JP tells a true childhood tale about his love of Broadway dance numbers, Hailey Jones returns as "Safety Sue" to lecture us about the dangers of online dating, and Kris Gruen performs his thoughtful folk-pop tunes.

3/6/20 The Big Blue Sphere

Mar 5, 2020

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs about earth. Conspiracy radio host Aaron white interviews the anti-Greta, comedy troup Robot Teammate take over the airwaves, and Joshua Tree songstress Myshkin performs.

2/28/2020 To Your Health

Feb 28, 2020

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs on healthcare. JP sings about Canada's single payer origins, we drop in on a psychic surgery, Steven Benaquist is back as guru Barry Lorbo, and Nashville songstress Calista Garcia performs her rootsy pop tunes.

2/21/2020 State of the Union

Feb 21, 2020

It's our state of the union address, recorded at The Tudor House Theatre in Lake Arrowhead, CA. JP sings the address, and sings a new anthem. We tune in to another propaganda PSA, actress Martha Young writes a controversial book, John Pate does a run of one liners, and 60s inpired singer-songwriter Josh Cuadra performs.

2/14/2020 - Heart Emoji (Easier Than Words)

Feb 14, 2020

Join us for a show about love from The Tudor House Theater. Sachet Vaneers interviews Cupid himself, JP tells a true tale of young love, comedian John Pate relives the perfect high school date, and singer Josh Cuadra performs his romantic pop.

2/7/2020 - The Bawdy Politic

Feb 7, 2020

We count the votes on a show about politics. Sachet Vaneers interviews Beto O'Rourke, JP tells a true childhood tale about a mock U.N, actor Brendan McCay brings us a mayor's stump speech, and L.A. roots songstress Pi Jacobs performs.

1/31/2020 - What's all this then?

Jan 31, 2020

Join us for sketches, stories and songs on the British Empire and the Commonwealth. JP tells a true childhood tale about an antique scam, we visit a fudge museum, Steven Benaquist pays tribute to Terry Jones, with music from Jason Feddy, Jason Kent and Sunfields, and Lollies.

1/24/2020 - Outsiders

Jan 24, 2020

JP tells a story about the weridest kid in class, we debut a leaked recording of Hillary's FBI interview, Darrin Bradburry brings us his boxcar country tunes, and Phil Proctor and Jamie Alcroft return with their Boomers on a Bench.

1/17/2020 - De Generation

Jan 17, 2020

Join us live as we fire shots across the generational divide. JP sings listener advice, Jamie Alcroft and Phil Proctor are our Boomers on a Bench, Redlands groovesters Coleslaw perform, and songwriter Severin Browne sings a catchy tune.

01/10/2020 - Mystic Mayhem

Jan 10, 2020

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs on mysticism. An NPR host looks to find the value in esoteric learning, JP tells a true childhood tale about a cursed knickknack, Phil Proctor & Jamie Alcroft return as our "Boomers on a Bench", and cosmic american folksters Jet Dread Stone perform their tarot inspired tunes.

1/3/2020 - Nogginscape: Inside The Human Brain

Jan 3, 2020

Join us for a show about the human brain. JP has a childhood meltdown, Steven Benaquist premieres his new science program, and we hear live performances from Louise Goffin, Peter Harper, and Chris Unck.

12/6/19 - The Meta End

Dec 6, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs on sketches, stories, and songs. We go on a self referential bender in the post modern apocalypse. A scientist offers patients their choice of parallel universe, Uncle Werner Herzog (comedian Isaac Kessler) gives a wedding speach, and Michigan singer-songwriter Mallory Wayt performs her pensive piano tunes.

11/29/19 - Families

Nov 29, 2019

JP sings the news about Barbie dolls, and tells a story about a childhood invention. Tony Sam takes us on a family trip, and The Black Tongued Bells sing us some swampy acoustic blues.

11/22/19 - The Fourth Estate

Nov 22, 2019

Join us for an episode about the press, recorded at KVCR television studios in San Bernardino, CA. JP tells a true childhood tale about his father's press pass, comedian John Pate explains the origin of a colloquialism, Julie & JP bring us an alt-right talk show parody, and singer-songwriter Joey Chrisman performs his folky blues.

11/15/19 - Break a Scotish Play

Nov 15, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs about the theatre. An acting coach torments her student, Steven Benaquist returns as the king of crying actors, and Nashville folk singer Tim Easton performs.

11/8/19 - Communication Breakdown

Nov 8, 2019

Join us for sketches, stories, and songs on communication. A call center opperator gets confused, retired actress Martha Young tries to redact an email, sketch comic Isaac Kessler is a local business owner attempting an impossible ad read, and Los Angeles duo The HawtThorns perform their rootsy tunes.

Pages